Unsecured objects on a construction site are hazards waiting to happen. Construction site workers must take care to shield the area below from falling debris or clear the area before demolishing any structure. Failure to do so can cause serious injury to both workers and passersby. If you suffered serious injury on a construction site, a New York falling objects injury lawyer from Buttafuoco & Associates can help you recover compensation: 1-800-NOW-HURT.
Accidents Involving Falling Objects or Debris on Construction Sites
Almost all types of falling object accidents are preventable with the proper safety measures and training. Falling objects may include:
- Dropped tools
- Construction materials
- Demolition debris
- Broken scaffolding
- Loose crane payloads
Preventing These Accidents
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has created safety measures to prevent many of these incidents. OSHA says that workers should secure their tools when using them at an elevated height. This can include tethering the objects or installing safety netting below the worker.
Workers must also secure and check crane payloads before lifting. Workers and foremen must also put barriers in place to protect anyone on the ground from any falling items.
Construction sites should have signage warning of active construction above the area and require hard hats for all people present on the job site. Barricades are effective ways to keep people out of harm’s way in an active demolition or aerial work area.
If workers or supervisors neglect to do any of these, serious injuries or death may result.
Injuries from Falling Objects or Debris
A simple wrench dropped from a significant height can cause severe injury or even death. Even light objects can cause trauma when dropped as they gain velocity the longer they fall. Head injuries including concussions, lacerations, and brain damage are common injuries when objects fall from any height. Heavy objects, when they fall from any height, can cause spontaneous amputations or other injuries that may require amputation later.
Falling debris can knock a person over and bury them in the rubble, creating the potential for injuries such as lacerations, fractures, bruises, internal bleeding, and soft tissue damage.
Long-term Consequences of Falling Object Accidents
When workers sustain serious damage to a limb, their head, or their spine, it can result in life-long disability. Loss of use of a limb may render a person unable to return to his previous job, therefore disrupting his ability to earn an income. Head trauma might lead to brain damage, impairing cognitive functions and control. Spinal injuries can result in paralysis below the injury site.
These long-term consequences mean more than just setbacks with your career. Suffering any of these disabling conditions diminishes your quality of life, places stress on yourself and your family, and can disrupt your entire household. You need to consider these matters when seeking compensation through either workers’ compensation or a personal injury claim.
Seeking Compensation for an Injury from a Falling Object or Debris
The first step to recovering damages for your injury is to report the accident to your employer. By law, all businesses in New York (with few exceptions) must carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage for their employees. This coverage will take care of your medical expenses related to the injury and pay you a portion of your wages.
While workers’ compensation does provide some benefits related to permanent disability and death, they are rarely enough to cover a lifetime of damage and loss. Therefore, it is important to discuss your accident with a New York construction accident lawyer to learn about your legal rights.
In some cases, especially when a third party such as a crane company, is liable for the accident and your injury, you are eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit. Proving this type of claim requires evidence of negligence and fault of another party, while a workers’ compensation claim does not. Your attorney can help you gather this evidence and negotiate a fair settlement for your damages.
For support and answers to your legal questions after a serious construction accident, contact the Buttafuoco & Associates law firm at 1-800-NOW-HURT. We offer free case reviews and information regarding your legal rights to work injury benefits, disability pay, and more. Fill out our online contact form to schedule your consultation today.